Real-Time 3D Radar System for Automotive Collision Avoidance

A real-time 3D radar system called D.R.A.D.I.S., which was designed by Rice University engineering students as a concept for a next-generation collision-avoidance system for the automotive industry, won the $5,000 top prize at Rice's 2015 Engineering Design Showcase. Current radar systems in cars sense when objects are near, but they do not attempt to image them. D.R.A.D.I.S. does. Its 16 pulse-radar antennae feed data to a high-end gaming graphics card that uses more than 2,000 processing cores to complete about a trillion calculations per second. The system's 'pulse radar' technology uses short bursts of low-power microwaves at a frequency around 10 gigahertz. The power level is about 10 million times less than a cellphone, which means the pulses travel only a short distance. But because they are pulses, they have a very large bandwidth, which means the reflected signals contain a great deal of information about the target. D.R.A.D.I.S. could also have wider applications in security screening and biomedical imaging.